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The Hilltop Villages Good Neighbours Group

Download the leaflet
Extreme weather 4x4 car scheme
Community Services Directory
The Pub Lunch Club
Why not join in?

Introduction

One of the strengths of our community is the willingness of local people to offer a helping hand to others. In short you might call this a spirit of ‘neighbourliness’.

In the summer of 2011 a group of villagers got together to identify how they could build on this neighbourliness. Aside from this ambition, there are concerns that cut-backs in public services will over time impact disproportionately on those living within rural communities. It was considered prudent to respond to these threats, or to borrow the local authority turn of phrase, 'Building Community Capacity’.



The Hilltop Villages Pub Lunch Club

This is one club you do not need to join or pay a subscription! The idea of the Pub Lunch Club is to offer a good value meal in friendly surroundings for those living locally. On offer is a two-course meal - main course and pudding - plus tea or coffee, all for just £9.

We have had 18 months generous hospitality from Marc and Kerry at the Rose and Crown but following the temporary closure of the pub, we have been invited by the Black Horse to host at least our next few lunches there, starting from 8th January 2014. The lunches take place on the second Wednesday of each month. Future dates for 2014 will be also publicised in Hilltop News.

Everyone is welcome to come along and try it out - perhaps with a friend or neighbour. All you need to do is to book in advance, at any time during the month leading up to the next meal.

Maybe you know a neighbour or friend who would enjoy having a lunch out once a month, please let them know. If they are not on email you could help by booking on their behalf. Without a car? Then we can help out with a lift there and back home. Just let us know when booking.

Bookings can be made by email to goodneighbours@cholesbury.com or by calling 01494 758890.
NB. Bookings cannot be made directly with the pub.



Possible Projects

A number of possible priorities and potential initiatives were identified. These included:

Possible prioritiesPossible initiatives
Problems in accessing key information about the public services. Publish a community services directory to identify where advice on public service can be obtained
Difficulties with transport during harsh weather conditions Organise 4x4 car scheme to enable vital journeys during severe weather conditions.
Difficulties for volunteers, carers supporting individuals to access the right person/ department in the public sector or to find out information about where to obtain advice, entitlements or key contacts. Launch a ‘discussion board’ for those who come forward to volunteer to solve issues about accessing public services Bring representatives of the public services closer to local people through events and as part of social interactions.
Lack of opportunity for those who are or might become isolated in the community to have regular social contact. Carry out a survey to identify social contact local needs. Build on existing social activities established in the villages by enabling those isolated to be able to attend.
Improve accessibility for those who would benefit from skills already available in the community. Identify who has skills which could be of value to the community. Create database / network to share information about the skills volunteers can offer the local community.
Impact on local community of the digital divide. Provide local contacts that are willing to assist those without equipment to access facilities available on the internet.
Awareness of national programmes aimed at supporting key groups in the local community during periods of change Identify such initiatives as the national digital television switchover where additional local support would be of benef

To take initiatives such as these forward and to be able to attract funding to support them the ‘Hilltop Villages Good Neighbours Group’ was formed in November 2011. The Group has been awarded a grant from our local County Councillor (Mrs Tricia Birchley, Community Leaders Fund). Other funding streams will be sought to support initiatives during 2012.

A pull out leaflet was distributed to all the households in Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards Parish in the December 2011 edition of Hilltop News. The leaflet included information about two initiatives identified above. The Extreme Weather 4x4 Car Scheme and also a Directory of Useful Community Service Telephone Numbers. See below for further details of each.


Download a copy of the current leaflet

A copy of the current Good Neighbours leaflet can be downloaded here.


The Extreme Weather 4x4 Car Scheme

The last two winters brought heavy snowfalls and prolonged periods of freezing weather conditions. At times local roads became impassable or dangerous to negotiate safely without a 4x4 car.

A group of volunteers have come together to operate a 4x4 Car Scheme during periods of such extreme weather. There is a dedicated telephone number which will be manned by volunteers within the Parish and drivers with 4x4 cars will be on-call to help fellow parishioners with vital transport needs, e.g. to get to urgent medical appointments, restocking essential food supplies, or collecting an urgent prescription. Possibly to assist stranded villagers at local stations or in the environs of the villages! If weather conditions prevent social services reaching a client, and near neighbours are not available, then volunteers may also be able to help with certain vital tasks. NB. It will be totally at the discretion of Group organisers to decide if the weather conditions dictate, and the need is urgent and appropriate for a volunteer to be called out.

The Extreme Weather 4x4 Car Scheme telephone number is:

08458 735737

Please note that the Car Scheme will be in operation from 9am to 7pm and only during periods of extreme weather. At other times you should contact the police or social services.

This service is free; however a contribution towards the driver’s fuel costs is welcomed. Residents are encouraged to prepare for another harsh winter, both at home and for daily journeys!

We would like to express our thanks to Green Telecom, based in Chesham, who generously supplied the telephone number, free of charge.


The Hilltop Villages Good Neighbours Directory

Not everyone has access to the internet for those important numbers, and that also applies to all of us during one of our frequent power cuts, so it’s useful to have a hard copy directory to leave by the phone.

In December 2011 we launched the first edition of the Good Neighbours Directory of Community Services contact numbers as a pull-out leaflet and distributed to all households in the parish via Hilltop News. An updated version was issued in December2012. We are pleased to say this idea has now been taken up by Chiltern District Council who have produced a directory.

  • Hilltop Villages Good Neighbours Community Services Directory [[pdf]]
  • Chiltern District Guide to services for older people living in Chesham and surrounding villages [[pdf]]
  • Bucks County Council - An A to Z Guide to Essential Services. A very comprehensive guide for who to contact for all their services as well as those of the other public service organisations including:- District Councils, Voluntary organisations, GP practices, Hospitals etc. [[pdf]]

Hard Copy Versions of both directories are available from goodneighbours@cholesbury.com or by calling 01494 758890.



Why not join in?

If you would like to find out more about volunteering and parcipating in any of the Hilltop Villages Good Neightbours Group initiatives, or would like to contact the Group please contact Chris Brown by phone on 01494 758890, or email goodneighbours@cholesbury.com



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